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All-new Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2
British style in premium compact SUV land

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: front view. Family looks with Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport.

Freelander 2/LR2: family looks with Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport.

23rd June 2006.

Nine years after the debut of its first generation in 1997, the second generation Land Rover Freelander 2 - to be called LR2 in the USA - will make its first public appearance next month at the British International Motor Show (public days from 20 to 30 July 2006) at the Excel exhibition centre in London's Docklands.

Since Ford Motor Company bought the Land Rover brand from BMW in 2000 (for 3 billion Euros), the Freelander 2 will be the fourth new model from the renown British 4WD brand in just four years, joining the latest Range Rover (launched in 2002), the Land Rover Discovery, or LR3 in the U.S. (2004), and the Range Rover Sport (2005).

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: rear view. Width is increased by 10.9cm, height by 3.2cm and wheelbase by 10 cm.

Width is increased by 10.9cm, height by 3.2cm and wheelbase by... 10 cm.

More than its predecessor, the 2nd generation Freelander 2 is aimed, not just at the compact SUV category, but up to the premium compact SUV level. Hence, it should target - depending on versions - models ranging from the BMW X3, Acura RDX / Honda CRV to Jeep's Cherokee / Liberty, Jeep Patriot / Compass, Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sportage / Hyundai Tucson, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota's RAV4 and others.

New from the ground up, Freelander 2, or LR2 is based on Ford C1 technical platform, which is used in several models in the Ford group, from the European Ford Focus and C-Max, to the Mazda3 and Mazda5, Volvo S40 / V50 / C70 (and coming C30).

Like in other automotive groups, a technical platform can adapt different body sizes, styles and applications to common elements ranging from engines and transmissions to suspension, braking, steering, electrical / electronic and safety systems.

The new Freelander 2 is marginally longer – by 50 mm – than the outgoing Freelander. However, width is increased by no less than 109 mm, height by 32 mm and wheelbase by... 10 cm, from 2.56 to 2.66 metre.

Technical highlights include a brand-new 3.2-liter inline-six engine matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission, with Land Rover’s CommandShift offering manual sequential gear changes when required. There is also a driver-selectable sport mode, for livelier performance.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: front seats, side view.

Large glass areas with the elevated driving position and stadium seating.

The interior package promises generous head, shoulder and legroom, in both the front and rear. Large glass areas emphasize the spacious feel and complement the elevated ‘command driving’ position and ‘stadium seating’, where rear passengers sit slightly higher than front occupants, for a clearer view of the world outside. Cargo space reaches 59 cu. ft. (1670 litres, provisional figures) with the rear seats folded and 26.5 cu. ft (755 litres) with the rear seats up.

The design is chiseled, geometric and simple, with a close design relationship with the LR3 and Range Rover Sport, but interpreted to suit the requirements of a more compact SUV.

The body is a five-door monocoque structure, with a fully independent suspension and the latest stability control systems, including Roll Stability Control (RSC) to help mitigate the risk of roll-over even in extreme conditions.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: Steering: rack-and-pinion, 2.6 turns lock-to-lock, reach/rake adjustable.

Steering: rack-and-pinion, 2.6 turns lock-to-lock, reach/rake adjustable.

Designed and engineered by Land Rover at Gaydon, near Warwick, England, Freelander 2 is not built at Land Rover's Solihull plant, but at the Halewood plant in Liverpool, where build quality has been acknowledged with a JD Power European Plant Quality Gold Award in 2005. Ford's Halewood plant builds the Jaguar X-Type saloon / sedan (Ford Mondeo based).

Exterior Design - Geoff Upex, design director and his team, including Earl Beckles (lead exterior designer) and Martin Buffery (lead interior designer) wanted clear family links to Land Rover’s new Discovery 3 (LR3 in the USA) and Range Rover Sport.

However, Freelander has always had – and needed to retain – a strong appeal to customers more used to conventional saloon cars.

According to Upex, 4x4s typically look more geometric, more aggressive and harder-edged. Cars tend to be more organic – and friendlier – in form. So the Freelander 2 mixes strong geometric shapes and flowing, car-like softness.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: driving position with console. 6-speed automatic: integrated electronic Transmission Control Module.

6-speed automatic: integrated electronic Transmission Control Module.

The grille sends a strong statement, with different versions for petrol and diesel models. The rear is cleaner, significantly helped by relocating the external spare wheel of the original Freelander underneath the cargo area floor, and by the new one-piece tail-lamps.

The metallic side-vents help engine breathing, but also provide a strong family link with both Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport.

The bonnet castellations help the driver place the vehicle more accurately on the road or track. The wheel-out stance and wide track help deliver agile handling and great grip. The short front and rear overhangs and high underbody are essential for go-anywhere off-road performance. The body-side protection guards against stone chips and helps keep the sills clean.

Inline-six engine -The 3.2-litre i6 petrol engine is brand new for 2006, and gives Freelander 2 on-road performance comparable to that of many compact saloons. The vehicle accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.4 sec (0-100 km/h in 8.9 sec) and has a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: gearshift and Terrain Response Settings control.

Rotary control of to choose one of four Terrain Response settings.

The base engine has been developed primarily by Land Rover’s Premier Automotive Group partner Volvo. Built at Bridgend, Wales – alongside the Land Rover / Range Rover V8 engine family – the i6 engine has been extensively developed for Land Rover’s demanding off-road requirements, including improved dust, mud and water protection and the tolerance of operation at more acute angles of tilt.

Maximum power is 233 PS (171 kW, specifications are preliminary and subject to change) at 6300 rpm, and maximum torque is 317 Nm (234 lb ft) at 3200 rpm. These figures are substantially higher than those offered by the outgoing Freelander’s V6 engine (177 PS/130 kW, 240 Nm). Performance is also much better than the outgoing vehicle’s, as is fuel economy – which is improved by 10 per cent on the combined average cycle.

The six-cylinder i6 engine combines a straight configuration – the smoothest engine arrangement – with an exceptionally compact size. This allows the engine to be transversely mounted, which improves cabin packaging, gives extra space in front of and behind the engine, and allows the use of the engine in different models within the Ford Group.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: off-road. Angles: 31° for approach, 34° for departure, 23° for ramp breakover.

Offroad: 31° approach angle, 34° for departure, 23° for ramp breakover.

The key to this compact new design is the innovative Rear End Ancillary Drive (READ) system. Conventional engines drive camshafts and other engine ancillaries (including alternator, water pump and air conditioning compressor) from a series of chains and belts overhanging the front of the engine. The i6’s READ system takes drive to these items up the rear face of the engine – the side attached to the gearbox – with much less overhang. The result is a short engine, just 600.5 mm long. This substantially increases engine bay space, allowing the i6 to be fitted crossways and the vehicle’s advanced crash structure to be configured around it.

The i6 engine has an aluminium block, head and bedplate and all are structurally optimised to balance low weight and stiffness. The twin overhead camshafts and 24 valves are further improved by a patented Cam Profile Switching (CPS) system that features two completely different intake cam profiles machined onto the same camshaft. The engine management system decides which cam profile to use, depending on the engine’s running conditions and driver’s torque demands. One profile is ideal for low-speed/low-load driving; the other, which gives longer valve lift, is better for higher speeds and loads. A two-piece hydraulic valve tappet arrangement alters the cam profiles.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: Sharp and chiselled body sides.

Sharp and chiselled body sides.

The i6 engine also features a continuously Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system, which constantly alters valve overlap to achieve optimum power, efficiency and emissions. The combination of CPS and VVT gives the new engine broad power and torque bands, and improves both performance and driveability.

In addition, the Variable Intake System – which alters both intake tract length and plenum volume – boosts low-end torque and high-end power, further enhancing the engine’s breathing capability. Eighty per cent of the vehicle’s maximum torque is available across the entire rev range, and 256 Nm (189 lb ft) is on tap all the way from 1400 rpm to 6400 rpm.

The highly accurate fuel-injection system features four micro-nozzles per cylinder, each with a diameter of 0.29 mm. Capable of injecting a large volume of fuel when high performance is demanded – up to 250 cm3/min – they are also able to provide total precision when minimal performance is required, helping the i6 Freelander 2 achieve its combined fuel consumption of 25.2 mpg (11.2 l/100 km).

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: side view. Short front and rear overhangs with a significantly longer wheelbase.

Short front and rear overhangs with a significantly longer wheelbase.

TD4 Turbodiesel - The second engine for the Freelander 2 is an all-new 2.2-litre TD4 turbodiesel. Maximum power is 160 PS (118 kW), up from 112 PS (82 kW) on the outgoing Freelander’s 2.0-litre diesel. Maximum torque is 400 Nm (295 lb ft) – up from 260 Nm (191 lb ft).

The engine – which makes its world debut in 2006 – is a result of the co-operative agreement between the Ford Motor Company and PSA Peugeot Citroën which also produced the TDV6 fitted to Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport. As with the i6 petrol engine, the TD4 engine has been specially developed to meet Land Rover’s requirements for wading and off-road angles (see LR2 specifications page), as well as for dust and mud protection.

Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 10.9 sec in manual guise, substantially reduced from 13.2 sec for the previous Freelander diesel (0-100 km/h now 11.7 sec, from 14.4 sec). The combined average fuel consumption is 37.7 mpg (7.5 l/100 km), better than the outgoing Freelander diesel despite a 43 per cent increase in power.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: driving shot, back view. Flow of the design: body-coloured A- and D-pillars, while the black E-pillars at the rear give a graphic like the ‘floating roof’ of Range Rover.

Flow of the design: body-coloured A- and D-pillars, while the black E-pillars at the rear give a graphic like the ‘floating roof’ of Range Rover.

The TD4’s advanced technologies include variable in-cylinder swirl, the latest ‘generation 3’ common-rail fuel injection, a new Garrett variable-nozzle turbocharger, a double-walled cylinder block and sump-mounted balance shafts. The result is better torque spread, fuel economy, performance and refinement. The engine exceeds the demanding EU4 emissions requirements, and a maintenance-free catalysed Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) is also available for even cleaner performance (all diesel engine data quoted is without the optional cDPF fitted).

The peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb ft) occurs at 2000 rpm. The power curve is flat, delivering 80 per cent of peak power across more than half the rev range. No less than 200 Nm (148 lb ft) of torque is available from 1000 rpm to 4500 rpm.

In automatic versions of the Freelander 2 TD4, hard acceleration delivers extra performance for short periods thanks to Transient Overboosting, where turbo pressure is increased. The new GT17B Honeywell Garrett Variable Nozzle Turbine (VNT) turbo combines low-speed response, mid-range torque and upper-end power. Its small turbine wheel is light, further reducing turbo lag.

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: top/down, front view.

Bonnet castellations (above headlights) help the driver place the vehicle more accurately on the road or track.

The engine combines piezoelectric injectors, high fuel pressures and variable swirl technology, all reducing combustion noise and in-cylinder pressure. Piezoelectric injectors provide exact control of the fuel delivery, while the ‘generation 3’ common-rail injection system is capable of injection pressures of 1800 bar (over 26,000 psi), about 30 per cent higher than ‘generation 2’ systems. Common-rail systems can supply a high volume of fuel at peak load conditions, one reason why common-rail engines offer much better performance – as well as better economy – than older diesel engines.

Each cylinder has two intake ports. The low-speed tract applies air at an acute angle to create swirl at low engine loads. Once higher gas flows are demanded, a second tract opens, providing extra air – but without increasing swirl.

The cylinder block is made from cast iron, and is double walled. This strengthens the block and reduces radiating noise, a little like double glazing. The head is aluminium alloy while the engine cover is made from lightweight polypropylene, housing foam to absorb specific noise frequencies. It is simple but reduces engine noise by up to a half.

Transmissions - Both Freelander 2 engines are available with a six-speed automatic transmission, while a six-speed manual is also available for the TD4 (diesel auto models become available from spring 2007).

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: Rear lamp units: jewel-like and scratch resistant.

Rear lamp units: jewel-like and scratch resistant.

They are both new transmissions specially developed for on-road and off-road driving.

The Aisin Warner AWF21 six-speed automatic transmission features a fully integrated electronic Transmission Control Module. The module uses different gearchange maps, depending on whether the transmission is in full auto, sport or manual CommandShift mode, and when the vehicle is using one of the special Terrain Response programmes.

In sport mode, the auto transmission is programmed to hold low gears longer and to shift down more readily, to assist acceleration CommandShift allows manual sequential gearchanging When Terrain Response special programmes are engaged, different mappings are applicable, depending on the mode chosen. The Transmission Control Module also manages torque converter lock-up, which has different requirements depending on the selected Terrain Response mode

Land Rover Freelander 2 / LR2: Specifications.

The six-speed manual gearbox, available only with the TD4 diesel, is a Getrag M66 unit, specially adapted for Land Rover use. It has a four-shaft design, and gear selection by twin cables for short, positive changes. The dual-mass flywheel carries a single-plate 250 mm (9.84 inch) hydraulically actuated clutch. The system is fully self-adjusting, to maintain constant pedal loads through the vehicle’s life.

Suspension and Steering - The Land Rover approach started with the design of the base suspension system, and was supplemented by innovative technologies such as an intelligent 4x4 system, Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response, and sophisticated traction and stability systems. Key contributors to achieving excellent on-road performance were the new, fully independent suspension system – coil-sprung struts front and rear – and a stiff body using front and rear sub-frames. Front and rear anti-roll bars provide anti-roll control.

The rack-and-pinion steering is designed to be direct and fluid, with 2.6 turns lock-to-lock. Rigidly mounted to the front sub-frame to improve lateral stiffness, the steering is adjustable for reach and rake.

On-road ride comfort is due to supple long-travel suspension, torsional body stiffness, rubber-mounted front and rear sub-frames, and large-diameter gas damper struts.

Off-road capability starts with 210 mm (minimum) of ground clearance to overcome rocky, sandy, rutted or muddy terrain. This also helps Freelander 2 to wade through water up to 500 mm deep.

Full-Time 4x4 - Freelander 2 comes with a full-time 4x4 transmission. Its front-rear torque split varies continuously to suit dynamic conditions. Only a small amount of torque is fed to the rear wheels under normal conditions, such as on a straight tarmac road, but in tough off-road situations, almost all the engine torque can be fed to the rear wheels, if required. This arrangement offers maximum grip in difficult conditions, yet minimises rear drive – and therefore rotational losses and, in turn, fuel consumption – when not required.

The 4x4 system has been developed in conjunction with Haldex, whose centre-coupling technology continuously alters the front-rear torque split, normally through a hydraulically operated multi-plate wet clutch. However, Land Rover wanted an electronically controlled centre coupling – linking the propshaft to the rear differential – that could pre-engage at rest to reduce wheelspin from standing starts, engage quickly when traction loss was detected and disengage quickly without compromising stability control systems. The system also had to transmit the necessary torque to achieve Freelander 2’s off-road traction demands.

The result is used exclusively on Freelander 2, and proactively engages full-time 4x4 rapidly and completely. A new high-pressure pre-charge pump charges the hydraulic system as soon as the engine is started, allowing for full-time 4x4 from rest. It also reduces the time taken to achieve full torque once wheel-slip has been detected – within 15 degrees of wheel-slip rotation (compared with over 60 degrees of wheel-slip rotation with more conventional units).

The Freelander 2’s Haldex unit is designed to allow up to 1500 Nm of torque transmission. An accumulator also speeds up the unit’s response. Full torque transmission can be achieved in just 150 milliseconds. The new Haldex coupling aims to provide the proactive engagement benefits of full-time 4x4 and the efficiency and fuel economy of an on-demand system.

Terrain Response is one of the core Land Rover technologies. Standard on all but the entry model, it adapts the responses of the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, centre coupling and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain. It optimises driveability and comfort, as well as maximising traction.

On the Freelander 2, there are four Terrain Response settings which the driver can choose via a rotary control:

  • General Driving – provides a broad span of ability suitable for most on-road driving and easier off-road conditions,

  • Grass/Gravel/Snow – for slippery conditions, on-road or off-road

  • Mud and Ruts

  • Sand

Terrain Response also controls the following range of stability and traction aids:

  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC): is designed to help stop torque to a wheel after loss of traction, but in some off-road situations torque feed is still desirable, even when traction is being lost. Terrain Response automatically adjusts the DSC so that appropriate torque is maintained

  • Electronic Traction Control and Anti-lock Brakes: these slip and braking control systems are all adjusted and tuned by Terrain Response to offer optimum grip, braking power and safety on the chosen terrain

  • Hill Descent Control (HDC): the latest generation of the Land Rover technology that automatically restricts speed downhill, using the anti-lock brakes, and improves driver control on slippery descents. HDC is automatically engaged on appropriate Terrain Response programmes. Downhill speed rates vary according to which surface is selected

Terrain Response also changes the setting of the electronic centre coupling, to optimise 4x4 drive in tough conditions. It works continuously, and made its production debut in the Land Rover Discovery 3 in 2004.

Brakes - The Freelander 2 has large vented brake discs front and rear. The large front discs – 316 mm on the petrol model, 300 mm on the diesel – are ‘reverse vented’, so they draw cool air into the disc over the central bell, which is then vented out from the rim of the disc. This approach improves thermal stability under severe braking. Rear brake discs are also substantial – 302 mm in diameter, for both diesel and petrol.

The electronic modulator of the stability control system constantly monitors and, if necessary, adjusts both braking and engine traction. As well as reducing brake pressure, as in a conventional anti-lock (ABS) braking system, the modulator is designed to help generate positive hydraulic pressure to increase braking force in an emergency.

In addition to the latest-generation four-channel anti-lock brakes, the modulator also controls Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which balances the distribution of braking force between front and rear, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), which boosts pedal pressure when full braking is required, and Corner Brake Control (CBC), which enhances rear-end stability when braking in corners. It also helps to control the Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control systems.

Roll Stability Control - Gyroscopic sensing allows the Roll Stability Control system – linked to the electronic modulator – to compare the rate of change of body roll angle with the steered course. If necessary, incremental brake force is applied at the outer wheels, widening the turn radius to help prevent the roll.

Gradient Release Control - Another innovation which makes its debut on Freelander 2 is Land Rover’s patented Gradient Release Control system. Linked to the Hill Descent Control, this system ensures that, when releasing the brakes on extremely steep hills, brake-line pressure is released progressively, helping to maintain full driver control.

Wheels and Tyres - Freelander 2 is available with a wide variety of wheels and tyres, ranging from 16-inch to 19-inch diameter. The wheels are all low-pressure die-cast aluminium, and rim width is wider than normal. All tyres are all-terrain rated, so they should perform well both on-road and off. All run at 32 psi (2.2 bar), irrespective of size, load or speed, which simplifies life for the customer. The smallest tyre offered – on the diesel only – is a 215/75R16 tyre, while the biggest – aimed at those who want sports saloon levels of responsiveness on-road – is a 235/55R19 (accessory fit only).

Towing - The petrol automatic and diesel manual models are able to tow a 2000 kg braked trailer – which is more than the vehicle’s kerb weight – making them suitable for most single horseboxes, medium-sized caravans and many boats. The diesel automatic can tow up to 1750 kg.

Body - Freelander 2 uses a monocoque construction. Ultra-high-strength steel is used more extensively than in any previous Land Rover, in the door beams and for various strengthening reinforcements. A fully integrated front-end structure carries the cooling pack and front bumper, while substantially boosting the overall body stiffness. The bonnet-locking platform has been designed to help boost structural integrity, ensuring good load transfer from one front crash rail to the other.

A double bulkhead in the engine bay improves powertrain isolation and provides a clean area for components such as the ABS modulator, brake servo and wiper system.

Safety - Front seat belts have pre-tensioners, and all Freelander 2 models feature seven airbags. The driver and passenger front airbags are designed to help provide head and chest protection and the front side airbags to protect against side impacts. Full-length curtain airbags in the roof side structure are designed to help protect against head injury and roll-over ejection for front and rear occupants. An inflatable knee bolster helps protect the driver against leg injury from the steering column.

Exterior Protection - Freelander 2 is designed to be able to brush off knocks and scuffs. Vulnerable areas of the car, including the sills and lower doors, are coated in a tough thermoplastic cladding. The cooling pack is protected by a strong thermoplastic undertray, while a structural steel undertray protects the engine.

Bumpers are made from high-pressure injection-moulded mineral-reinforced polypropylene to offer stability in very hot or cold conditions, and good scratch and impact resistance.

The standard halogen lamps have impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, and offer a lifetime resistance to scratching. H7 halogen bulbs are also available, giving a light output closer to natural daylight. Freelander 2 is also available with High Intensity Discharge (HID) projector lamps, creating crisp blue-white spectrum light. HID lights produce 200 per cent more light than a halogen unit while consuming only half as much electrical power. They also last up to 10 times longer. The HID system includes headlamp powerwash and automatic headlamp levelling.

Optional Adaptive Front Lighting (AFS) is designed around the xenon units. The lamps swivel with the direction of travel, to help improve the driver’s view of the road ahead.

An optional two-part panoramic sunroof increases the bright and airy feel of Freelander 2’s cabin. The front section lifts and slides back over the second-row glass roof panel.

Large door mirrors (powerfold option available) further improve the field of view. The front screen is available electrically heated, with rain-sensing wipers that work via infra-red technology, and heated washer jets.

Interior - The interior of Freelander 2 is designed to be more elegant and simply structured than that of the outgoing Freelander, The facia still incorporates clear elements of the iconic architectural vertical and horizontal lines that characterise the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3 (LR3).

The upper part of the facia has a soft-touch finish The circular analogue gauges are framed with metallic bezels. Stadium seating places the rear seat passengers slightly higher than their front seat counterparts. Visibility for all occupants is helped by the narrow front A-pillars, deep front and rear screens, and large side windows.

Although only 50 mm longer than the outgoing model, the all-new Freelander 2 effectively moves up a class in interior packaging compared with its predecessor.

The vehicle’s height and tall doors improve entry and egress compared with normal cars. The ‘clean sill’ system also helps keep mud and general road grime off occupants’ clothes.

Six-way adjustment is standard on all driver seats, including height adjustment. The front passenger seat has four-way adjust. Electric power adjustment and armrests are also available on driver and front passenger leather seats, with the option of a three-position memory on the driver’s seat. Two-stage seat heating is available on certain models to provide reliable and rapid seat warming in cold environments.

The rear seat is wide enough to accommodate three standard adults, and includes a central armrest on leather versions. An asymmetrically split design, it folds forward to offer a completely flat floor area.

The boot provides ample space for luggage. The reversible load floor cover has carpet on one side and a water-resistant surface on the other.

Total luggage volume is 1670 litres with the rear seats folded forward and 755 litres when raised (27 and 38 per cent respectively better than the outgoing Freelander).

Freelander 2 available equipments include (standard or optional, depending on versions and markets):

  • Keyless starter button – standard throughout the range

  • High-definition colour touch-screen DVD satellite navigation

  • Bi-xenon Adaptive Front Lighting

  • Auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers

  • Cruise control

  • Park Distance Control at the front and rear

  • Bluetooth hands-free telephone system integrating phone control and display with the car

  • 12-speaker Alpine/Dolby Prologic IIx sound system

  • DAB digital radio

  • Dual-zone ATC air-conditioning, with pollen filter and humidity sensor

  • Panoramic top-sliding sunroof

  • Lazy-open and Lazy-locking functionality

  • One-shot windows and sunroof

  • ‘Approach lighting’ operated by the key fob.

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